Could Fibromyalgia be Labeled as a Psychiatric Illness?

Apparently the fears I expressed in an earlier post entitled First Test to Objectively Diagnose Fibromyalgia  may possibly come to pass with this latest article I've come across.

It saddens me that we may wind up being classified as a psychiatric illness because I truly believe that Fibromyalgia is so much more than just a psychosomatic disorder.  There are many, many other factors like food and chemical sensitivities, bloating, dizziness, vertigo, RA, thyroid issues, IBS, and migraines-- to only name a few-- that patients suffer from.  And what's sad is, many of these can be medically measured.  Our pain can also go into remission or flare when the weather changes.  This is not caused by a lessening or increase of stress in our lives-- it's just part of the disease. 

Many of us, including myself, have had symptoms since birth and it's taken us years to find doctors that "get us".  If our pain becomes classified as a mental disease, we, along with others who have similar diseases, might be classified as having a mental disease. 

Now one might say, "Hey, Kim relax!  Things look good!  The study sounds like it's a step in the right direction.  They are trying to get a better diagnostic test for Fibro sufferers."  I understand what you are saying.  You want me to look at this a very positive thing.

But I have a great fear.  Forgive me for sounding this crass about my fear, but this has to be said this way so non-Fibro people "get it".  Can you imagine a person who has cancer getting the care they need from a psychiatrist?  I can't.  And that COULD very well happen IF that poor patient becomes misdiagnosed!  It's NOT far-fetched in the least to think this way!  After all, it can take some time for symptoms to show up on a test.  What about someone who suffers from heart issues?  Some patients who complained about fatigue were turned away from the hospital only to show hours later with congestive heart failure.  What about Alzheimer's?  They don't have a test for the early stages yet.  It's hard to diagnose in the early stages at this point unless you have a brain scan, and even then it might be hard to catch, no one's really sure because the symptoms are very few in the early stages.  Mistakes happen everyday in the medical community, and unfortunately, we Fibromites have seen A LOT of them when it comes to our own diagnoses. 

The saddest part-- if we are lucky, we have health insurance that we pay for.  This study may give the insurance companies the right to tell us they won't pay for our care, and that's not right.  You may think this isn't your fight because you don't have Fibromyalgia, but I beg to differ with you. This study may just pave the way for insurers to classify anything psychosomatic if there isn't any test that truly labels your issues as anything else. 

This issue seems to rely a great deal in coding and billing, and since about 6% of the world's population has Fibromyalgia, I'm pretty confident in saying that not many insurance companies want to help the patients pay the bills if it drastically cuts into profits.  They'd rather see the patients foot the bill.  And if they can do it to us, they could do that to others that suffer just as much, or far greater than us.  In this case, greed IS NOT good. 

Stay Fabulous!
Love and Friendship,


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